Effective discipline is more than a simple parenting strategy; in fact, effective discipline includes many components. The primary focus of discipline is ‘to teach’ through the use of various strategies that are safe, healthy, and grow childhood resilience. Discipline that teaches supports a child’s learning of physical, emotional, social, and cognitive skills that enhance development.
Four factors need to be present for effective discipline that is safe, healthy, and promotes childhood learning and skill building. All identified factors are interconnected and support one another.
- Supportive parent-child relationship
- Provision of a safe, learning environment
- Teach behaviors and skills appropriate to the child’s age and development
- Respond to challenging behaviors with safe, healthy, and effective strategies
Teaching discipline begins with the provision of a safe, learning environment with healthy, supportive adult-child relationships. This foundation supports proactive discipline that guides, models, and teaches. When a child feels loved and is connected to a supportive adult within a safe learning environment, the ability to learn and practice new skills will flourish!
The goal of discipline is to promote long-term learning and childhood skill building. Methods to accomplish child learning are diverse and include: explanation and guiding, modeling of social and emotional skills, establishing rules and logical consequences, providing reinforcement for good behaviors, and using effective strategies to change challenging behaviors.
Parents who invest the time to learn and implement positive discipline with their children will build lasting parent-child relationships, reduce problem behaviors, and help their child achieve new social, emotional, and behavioral skills.